Use the market figures from the International Trade Centre database (in Dutch) to easily compare various countries. This database is full of information about trade flows, and international import and export figures.
Look into cultural differences
When reaching out to foreign suppliers, make sure to familiarise yourself with the local business culture (in Dutch). Etiquette and dress codes vary from country to country. As do the rules of corporate gift-giving. Read up on local customs in advance to help you avoid some very uncomfortable situations.
Avoid unnecessary risks in international business
When looking for a foreign supplier, it pays to factor in social and environmental considerations. It is also very important that you know the origin of imported products. Poor working conditions, corruption, or discrimination can damage your company’s reputation. Find out more about sustainable purchasing and international corporate social responsibility (ICSR).
Seek advice from experts
Make use of the international knowledge of specialist organisations. There are lots of organisations that will help you set up your importing activities. For more information about import markets, consider reaching out to:
- Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries, CBI
- Foreign Chambers of Commerce
- International Business Portal (in Dutch)
- Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA)
- Enterprise Europe Network